Stress Survival Kit for Teens. By Greta Nielsen. Inverness Clinical Care Consultants

Stress Survival Kit For Teens

By Greta Nielsen, LCPC, NCC

Tools to help you:

  • Be calm, not anxious
  • Be in-control, not helpless
  • Be alive, not burned out Be at peace, not angry

Give yourself a break ~ Don’t try to do everything all at once. Make a list and check it off one at a time. Reward yourself when you’re done.

Go easy on yourself ~ No one is perfect, no one gets it right all the time, no one always has all the answers. If you’re trying hard and doing your best, that’s all anyone can ask of you.

Stay organized ~ Keep a calendar of your activities and school responsibilities so you can manage your time wisely. This helps you prioritize and plan ahead so you’re not cramming on a Wednesday for two tests on a Thursday.

Fuel up ~ Eat healthy, hydrate, exercise regularly and get a good night’s sleep. The average teenage girl needs to consume roughly 2200 calories; the average teenage boy needs to consume between 2500-3000 calories (depending on activity level and height) and needs 10 hours of sleep per day.

Relax ~ Take deep breaths: Find a quiet place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and slowly (try to count to five) inhale through your nose. Feel your belly expand as you inhale. Hold the breath for3 seconds and then slowly (at least5 seconds) breathe out through your mouth until all the air is pushed out of your lungs. Repeat 10 times, or until relaxed.

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Tense and release your muscles, one muscle, or group of muscles, at a time. Start at your feet and work up to your head. Tense each muscle for 3-5 seconds before releasing.
  • Meditation: Find a quiet place to sit. Sit still, keeping your back straight and try to quiet your mind. Do this by focusing on your breathing or a single word or image. Try for 15 minutes.

Visualize yourself being successful ~ Use your mind to “see” how you can manage potentially stressful situations. Imagine yourself acing the test, playing confidently at your concert, or scoring points at your game. See yourself being GREAT!

Talk it out ~ Don’t suffer in silence. Talk honestly and openly with someone you trust. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not a weakness.

Keep a journal ~ Writing about your life will help you see things more clearly. You can express intense emotions without hurting yourself or someone else.

More about Greta Nielsen, A Clinical Care Consultants Psychotherapist (Inverness Office).

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